Las Vegas oddsmakers say $300 million or more
changed hands worldwide on a controversial referee call that decided
the Monday Night Football game between the Green Bay Packers and the
Sports book chief Jay
Kornegay said Tuesday that bettors at The LVH casino registered shock,
some celebration, then anger when the outcome swung the game in favor of
"We've seen regular refs
blow calls. That's always been part of the sport," Kornegay said. "But
this one was just a blatant bad call at the end of the game that decided
the outcome of the game."
The Seahawks won 14-12
after referees ruled that Seattle receiver Golden Tate came down with
the ball in a pile of bodies in the end zone after a Hail Mary pass on
the play's last game.
The Glantz-Culver line for
the game opened favoring the Packers by 4½. Had the final play been
ruled an interception - as many players, analysts and fans believed was
the right call - Green Bay would have won by 5 points.
The officials ruled on the
field that Tate had simultaneous possession with Green Bay safety M.D.
Jennings, which counts as a reception. The NFL upheld the call on
Gambling expert RJ Bell of
Las Vegas-based Pregame.com said an estimated two-thirds of bets
worldwide were on the Packers, with about $150 million more bet on Green
Bay than Seattle.
"Due to one call by the
replacement refs, the bettors lost $150 million, and the bookie won $150
million for a total swing of $300 million on one debatably bad call,"
Mike Colbert, head
oddsmaker for Cantor Gaming, which runs seven sports books in Las Vegas
and provides betting lines to 90 percent of Nevada's casinos, said
Cantor's books took in about 20 percent more money in bets than usual
for a Monday night game after a wild weekend.
Colbert said that as an NFL fan, he felt for bettors who lost because of the play even though his sports books won money.
"When everything when down, I gotta tell you, I was absolutely sick to my stomach," Colbert said.
Casinos had already begun
to react to replacement officials before Week 3 began, predicting the
most scoring ever across the league.
Now, adjustments for
replacement referees that were only talked about previously are being
factored into betting lines, Colbert said.
"We've seen it now," Colbert said. "If we do see trends and we see bets, we'll move more aggressively than we did in the past."